Entrepreneur Jake Rothschild has his feet firmly planted in the frozen treat world, the eponymous Jake’s Ice Cream, with plans to expand both geographically and with extended product lines. Rothschild also is a community neighbor with a good heart, using his platform, beginning in late February, to open Outside the Lines Gallery for young artists next to his own space.
“The idea has been with me since I was making art myself as a youngster. Once COVID hit, I thought about children cooped up unable to interact with others, but still able to express themselves artistically. As part of my own response to the pandemic, I formed a nonprofit, Hunger & Hope, to help the community by providing cooking classes, incubation for new food businesses, art classes and this gallery space for artists under 20.”
The first show is “Love and Art in the time of COVID” and features the works of teenagers Drennan Barnes, Zoe Dunaway and Kate Fineman. Work that sells will be split 50/50 with the artists. Hunger & Hope will use its portion to offer art classes to inner city children. No single piece will be priced over $100. Each artist will contribute around four pieces.
Jake explained, “We will not have sculpture, but only things that can be hung on the wall. I am not judging work quality but want kids to feel free to use self expression and not be afraid to put it out there.”
Rothschild grew up in Gastonia, N.C., and attended the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. While a junior there, he developed an instant all-natural hot chocolate mix that landed him in Money magazine. He relocated to Atlanta in 1988.
He founded Jake’s Ice Cream in 1999 with a determination to follow in the fictional footsteps of Willy Wonka. In the legend of Wonka, Rothschild said, “It was my favorite movie as a child, and I loved how unbridled Wonka’s imagination was. Everything was outside-the-box thinking. I’ve since created the hot chocolate mix, an oat-based ice cream called Haute Milk Ice Cream (by Jake’s) and we are now developing a high protein, low carb, gluten-free pasta line.”
Rothschild has also founded The Cooking School, which has locations in the Old Fourth Ward, Hapeville and College Park.
Now for the yummy creamy goodies. Jake’s creates ice creams on site in a 6,000- square-foot facility with 12 employees. Jake’s has a giant 10-by-10-foot freezer. Currently the shop is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. When winter thaws, it will go to six days a week. Rothschild has nailed the delivery formula with dry ice packaging. “We deliver anywhere inside the perimeter. Orders $30 and over are free, under $30 has a charge. Orders have to be placed 72 hours in advance. Flavors are kept fresh and constantly rotated. Our customers determine the flavors by emailing us what they want.”
The most popular flavors are Chocolate Slap Yo Mama, Brown Shugah Vanilla and Devyn’s Animal Cracker. Devyn’s is named after its inventor, Devyn Edelstein, who was 2 years old when she recommended Jake’s make it. She is the daughter of Amy and Dr. Bruce Edelstein who recently appeared in an AJT Chai Style Home story.
On a light note, Chocolate Slap Yo Mama was named by an attorney customer who recycled the Deep South phrase, “This is so good, it makes you want to slap your mama [hopefully on the back] and cuss your preacher!” Chocolate Slap is gluten-free oreos, gooey fudge sauce and mini chocolate chips.
Rothschild’s next venture is producing elegant pies. “You’ve never seen or tasted anything like it before. Then we have plans to open an additional Jake’s location in our new development at The Village [Makers Market] in downtown Hapeville.”
Jake’s Ice Cream is located at 660 Irwin Street in the Irwin Street Market.